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Ten Frequently Asked Questions About Pregnancy
This information is for general purposes only. If you have any medical problems or complications during pregnancy this information may not be applicable.
1) Are over the counter medications safe during pregnancy?
Please check with your doctor before taking ANY over-the-counter or prescription medication. While no medication can be considered absoutely safe, the following
medications may be considered after discussion with your doctor.
Regular strength acetaminophen (Tylenol) is the medication of choice for headache or fever. Please do not take aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen sodium unless directed by
your physican. If you have a fever of 100.6 or higher, please call the office or your family doctor. If your headache does not improve with acetaminophen please call your
doctor. You may use a saline nasal spray. A warm salt-water gargle is recommended for a sore throat. You may use throat drops, spray, or lozenges. A cool air vaporizer may
help you sleep at night. It is essential to increase fluid intake and get sufficient rest. If your nasal or throat drainage changes from a clear color, please call your provider.
You may consider plain Robitussin for coughs or chest congestion.For severe sinus congestion with colds, allergies, or flu, you may ask your doctor about using
pseudoephedrine (Sudafed). This medication should only be used for a few days as it can raise your blood pressure. Please do not take this medication if you have high
2) What options are available to help with nausea (morning sickness)?
Although nausea and vomiting in pregnancy is commonly referred to as "morning sickness", it can occur at any time of the day or night, usually when the stomach is empty.
Try keeping something in your stomach - eat small, frequent meals (5 or 6 a day). If nausea is a problem when you get up in the morning, try a high protein snack before bed
and a few pretzels, ginger snaps or dry crackers before getting out of bed in the morning. Avoid unpleasant odors. Avoid dehydration as this can increase your nausea. You
can try drinking ginger or peppermint tea, or chewing a thin sliver of fresh ginger - do not take ginger supplements. Over-the-counter seasickness bands help some people.
Taking your vitamin at night may help, or switching to a chewable formula. Anytime you are unable to keep fluids down for 24 hours - please call the office.
3) What options are available to help with constipation?
The best way to combat constipation is through prevention. Drink 8 to 10 glasses of liquids a day. Include fruit juices (prune and apple juices are especially helpful).
Increase the fiber in your diet by eating bran or shredded wheat cereals, bran muffins, as well as raw fruits and vegetables. Exercise daily (walking is good). If constipation
should occur, there are several non-prescription medications that may be used - Metamucil, Citrucel, Fibercon, Milk of Magnesia, and Colace. Please tell your doctor if you
are using any of these on a daily basis.
4) What can I do to help with heartburn (indigestion)?
Eat small, frequent meals (5 or 6 a day). Drink liquids, especially milk, between meals rather than with meals. Avoid fatty or fried foods and carbonated beverages. Sit up
during and for one hour following meals. You may use Tums. Tell your doctor if this is becoming a daily problem.
5) What do I do if bleeding occurs?
Please call the office to let your doctor know immediately. Although this may be worrisome for a miscarriage, spotting or bleeding may occur in 30% of all normal
pregnancies during the first trimester. Avoid heavy lifting, exercise, and sexual intercourse for 48 hours after the last episode of spotting.
6) What if I get a urinary tract infection?
Symptoms of a urinary tract infection can include pain or burning with urination, urgency or increased frequency of urination. The urine may be cloudy or have a strong
odor. Unexplained lower abdominal cramping, often accompanied by a backache, can also mean a infection. An untreated urinary tract infection can cause premature labor
or lead to a serious kidney infection, so please do not delay seeking treatment. Please call the office with these symptoms. You may need to come in for a urinalysis and
antibiotics It is essentail to drink plenty of water and fruit juices (8 to 10 glasses a day). Please avoid caffeinated and carbonated beverages, as they can be irritating to the
7) Is it safe to travel?
Assuming you have not had any complications during your pregnancy, travel by most modes of transportation is considered safe up to the seventh month of pregnancy.
Always check with your doctor if flying to a foreign country. If traveling by car, it is advisable to stop every 1 to 2 hours to stretch and move your legs. Eat healthy snacks
and take along lots of water to drink in the car. Always use seat belts, with the lap belt low on the abdomen. When flying, drink lots of water as you can easily get
dehydrated. Stand up to stretch and move your legs every 1 to 2 hours. After the seventh month, check with your doctor before traveling.
8) What can I do to help relieve back pain?
Wear low-heeled (but not flat) shoes with good arch support. Ask for help when lifting heavy objects. Don't bend over from the waist to pick things up-squat down, bend your
knees, and keep your back straight. Sit in chairs with good back support, or use a small pillow behind the low part of your back. When standing for long periods, place one
foot on a stool or box. If your bed is too soft, have someone help you place a board between the mattress and box spring. Try to sleep on your side with one or two pillows
between your legs for support. Apply heat or cold to the painful area or massage it. Exercises can strengthen and stretch the muscles and lessen back pain. Exercises for
back pain. If back pain continues to be a problem, your doctor may suggest that you wear a maternity girdle, special elastic sling, or back brace.
Back pain can also be caused by other problems. Back pain is one of the main symptoms of preterm labor. If it continues or gets worse, call your doctor. You should also
call your doctor if you are having fever, burning during urination, or vaginal bleeding.
9) Is sexual intercourse safe? Should I take precautions?
Unless there is a specific problem with the pregnancy, such as bleeding, placenta previa, or preterm contractions, sexual intercourse is safe during pregnancy. It may be
necessary to experiment with position and depth of penetration to avoid discomfort. If intercourse is painful or causes bleeding or prolonged contractions (it is normal to
have a few contractions following intercourse), please talk with your physician.
10) Can I exercise during pregnancy?
Some exercises are not recommended during pregnancy. Please check with your doctor prior to beginning any exercise program.
Regular exercise is important during pregnancy to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Walking, swimming, bicycle riding, and prenantal exercise and yoga classes are all
recommended. You may continue normal sports activity, although it is not the time to take up a new sport. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
recommends keeping your heart rate under 140 (take your pulse for 6 seconds, multiply by 10). Do not exercise lying flat on your back after 16 weeks of pregnancy. If any
exercise causes you pain, discomfort or contractions stop exercising and discuss this with your doctor. If you have any medical conditions such as high blood pressure,
history of preterm birth, placenta previa, or bleeding consult your doctor first.